You remember the post before the last one where I was talking about gesture drawing, how to do it and why. The principle can be used in sculpting as well. All you need is wire.
You make little figures – we made them about 16 inches tall – and then you can “gesture sculpt”. At school we had a live model and every gesture took about 5 to 15 minutes. It takes a little longer than gesture drawing because you have to bend and shape using pliers. As always, with time and practice it becomes easier and the wire sculptures get more complex and expressive.
The added dimension (working in 3D) makes you think much more about the directions that the body parts go, the tilts and twists a body can show. Note in the following picture how the pelvis tilts to the left while the shoulders stay straight.
It’s fascinating how much information one can capture. Is it a relaxed or tense pose? Which way does he look?
When they stand on their own it means you really found the line of gravity that goes through the body – which sounds easier than it is, trying to be fast and accurate at the same time.
And here the whole gang.
Gesture drawings are usually done very quickly. The exercises we did in class ranged from just 10 seconds to 5 minutes. It’s not about getting technically everything right, one does not necessarily aim for exact proportions and so on, it’s even in your way to think along that line. Gesture drawing is an exercise where it’s helpful to loosen up. It’s more about feeling “things” out, understanding what the subject or object is all about. The speed forces you to let go of thinking too much, decisions have to be made in a split second. However the more skilled you are at drawing – and of course, the more you practice gesture drawing itself – the better your gesture drawings will become. All the hard work will eventually show in those ten seconds. A gesture drawing can be done of pretty much anything, be it a person, a chair, a tree or a coffee cup. It’s all about capturing the essence of the subject/object, the expression frozen in the moment; you might even say it’s an attempt to capture an emotion. Here are a few gesture drawings of people (from class) and chickens (homework). The drawings of the chickens took less than 10 seconds per chicken, the gesture drawings of the models are 5 minute drawings.